Finally, proud to be an American

We did it.

WE DID IT!

I saw the words “BARACK OBAMA ELECTED PRESIDENT” on the television last night at 10:15. I stared at the screen for a long time and then cried for a few minutes, mostly out of relief but also because the historical significance of the victory had hit me.

I haven’t had too much doubt that Obama could, WOULD, win the presidency… once the initial Palin Effect started wearing off, that is. It got a little scary there for a while, but she had plenty of rope to hang herself with, and she was very obliging about taking McCain down with her.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think McCain’s an evil guy or anything. I think he’s performed great service to his country and really has had some “mavericky” ideas, but got taken over by the Republican Machine and was told what to say, think, and do in order to win the election at any cost.

Palin’s a different story though. I think she’s as sneaky, lying and manipulative as Dick “Montgomery Burns” Cheney. She scares me.

So I guess that I haven’t really let myself think too much about the outcome of the election, one way or the other. A McCain win would have been just beyond depressing, but it seemed like if I hoped and wished too hard for an Obama victory, I would jinx it. (As if I had that power, right?) And if I didn’t get my hopes too high in the first place, then the disappointment at a McCain win would be easier to take. So I guess seeing those words on the screen last night let me pour out some of that emotion that I’ve been blocking for so many months.

It was incredibly moving to see a black man win the highest office in our country (something I didn’t think I would ever see in my lifetime and I am only 36 and how sad is that), but I honestly don’t think this election was about race. I think that this man won on the basis of his message of hope and change, AND on the fact that he has good solid realistic policy ideas about how to bring America out of the cesspool that Bush and his administration have put us in.

It’s an enormous insult to the American public to propose that the election outcome was based on race. So please, let’s not even go there.

Some people are saying that it was inevitable that Obama would win because this country is at the lowest of lows, and Americans were ready for any sort of change, that Obama was just lucky to be in the right place at the right time; as if his win had nothing to do with his ideas and plans, but was just some inevitable product of the fact that we ain’t got nowhere to go but up anyway. I would say to you that at this point, after what Bush & Co. have done to this country over the past 8 years, it’s pretty much a level playing field for ANY candidate who might have chosen to run. Don’t call it an easy win based on THAT.

And while I’m all about unity and bipartisan cooperation, for one day I have let myself think: Suck it, GOP.

Actually, I don’t really have it in me to gloat like that for long. It’s not like a nyah-nyah, we won and you lost kind of thing. It’s more like, OK, finally we have someone who can really help us out of this mess. I’m ready for all Americans, regardless of party or gender or race or class or any other dividing line, to get down to business and work together to bring about the changes that Obama has promised. Like he said in his victory speech last night, the changes that we need require everyone’s help.

Now let’s get started.

2 Comments

  1. Laura

    😀 I took like a zillion photos when I saw Obama had won (some are on flickr). I cried too and tried to not gloat too much although yesterday on Wednesday I wore my Obama t-shirt. I got a few glares although I just smiled and worked on!

  2. Jill Kirkendall (icedragaen@verizon.net)

    I think you said it all, Katy. I’ve been thinking/feeling just about every single thing you wrote about. I agree with you that this election was not about race, but about a man who has inspired people with his message of hope and change. He has made me feel that we can finally have some faith in our government. How wonderful it is to see how far our country has come with the election of an African-American to our highest office.

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